Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

November 6, 2008

Quote Of The Day

by Brad Warbiany

From my brother, who is astoundingly close to my political position, when asked by my wife (who likes Obama) about the election last night:

The bus has already sailed over the cliff… Who you put in the driver’s seat doesn’t much matter.

I have but one bit of disagreement… If it’s possible, Obama’s election might slightly increase the gravitational acceleration on said bus…

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  • RobbBond

    Is there a point where the bus hits the floor of the valley below? In other words, at what point do the people rebel against increasing government intrusions? And can that rebellion be carried out in a peaceful manner?

  • http://pith-n-vinegar.blogspot.com/ Quincy

    If it’s possible, Obama’s election might slightly increase the gravitational acceleration on said bus…

    Since I don’t believe that Obama’s election has caused an increase in the earth’s mass, I’d prefer to guess it was a hurricane-force downdraft on said bus.

  • http://voluntaryservant.wordpress.com tjoseph

    The above quote is absolutely true. On the question of rebellion, I like this quote:
    “The fundamental, all-pervasive cause of world instability is the destruction of communities by the commercialization of all human relationships and the resulting neuroses and psychoses… The final result is that the American people will ultimately…opt out of the system… we are already copping out of voting on a large scale basis…People are also copping out by refusing to pay any attention to newspapers or what is going on in the world, and by increasing emphasis on the growth of localism, what is happening in their own neighborhoods… When Rome fell, the Christian answer was, “Create our own communities.” – Carroll Quigley, as quoted by E Michael Jones, in CULTURE WARS Magazine, October 2008 issue, page 47

  • Harry Rossman

    Is there a point where the bus hits the floor of the valley below? In other words, at what point do the people rebel against increasing government intrusions? And can that rebellion be carried out in a peaceful manner?

    The following quote is from Dr. Martin Luther King: Letter from a Birmingham jail. Although his is specifically talking about segregation, the principles society and government which he elucidates and amplifies are applicable universally.

    Although this extract is somewhat lengthly, it adds well reasoned food for thought.

    “…You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, it is rather strange and paradoxical to find us consciously breaking laws. One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer is found in the fact that there are two types of laws: There are just and there are unjust laws. I would agree with Saint Augustine that “An unjust law is no law at all.”

    Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of Saint Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority, and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. To use the words of Martin Buber, the Jewish philosopher, segregation substitutes and “I-it” relationship for an “I-thou” relationship, and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. So segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, but it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Isn’t segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, an expression of his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? So I can urge men to disobey segregation ordinances because they are morally wrong.

    Let us turn to a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a majority inflicts on a minority that is not binding on itself. This is difference made legal. On the other hand a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal.

    Let me give another explanation. An unjust law is a code inflicted upon a minority which that minority had no part in enacting or creating because they did not have the unhampered right to vote. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up the segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout the state of Alabama all types of conniving methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters and there are some counties without a single Negro registered to vote despite the fact that the Negro constitutes a majority of the population. Can any law set up in such a state be considered democratically structured?

    These are just a few examples of unjust and just laws. There are some instances when a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I was arrested Friday on a charge of parading without a permit. Now there is nothing wrong with an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade, but when the ordinance is used to preserve segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and peaceful protest, then it becomes unjust…”

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